Transportation Options for Samana

There are quite a few forms of transportation to consider in Samana

Photo credit: © Orlando Kairus, MD

A sliver of land along the coast that boasts long, beautiful beaches and verdant mountains, Samana is an interesting destination in the Dominican Republic. Whether you're an adventurer looking for nature sites to explore or a couple in need of a romantic getaway, this spot caters to you. One of the aspects you'll need to consider as you plan your vacation in Samana is transportation, which is plentiful.

Getting There

Will you fly, sail, or cruise to get to Samana? Although booking a flight is the most popular, most convenient, and most affordable choice, that doesn't make it a go-to for everyone and learning more about each option may even cause you to change your mind.

Getting Around

Transportation within Samana is plentiful. The Dominican Republic in general has more options than most with the addition of montoconchos and publicos to the typical rental car, taxi, and bus options. In Samana, however, there is one more mode of transportation available: a ferry to Muelle Sabana De La Mar.

Air Travel

Located in the El Catey Village of Samana is the Samana El Catey International Airport (AZS). Having opened in November of 2006, it is the newest airport on the island, and though it is an international facility, direct flights from the United States, Europe, and Canada are limited. For most travelers, this makes planning connecting flights necessary, though this is certainly not a deal breaker considering it only takes 40 minutes to get from the airport to Samana's city center. Find out more, including which airlines fly direct to this airport by clicking here.


Sailing in Samana has several faces. Not only can you sail internationally and dock at the marina in Samana Bay, but there are also opportunities to sign up for whale watching tours, charter yachts, and hire local sailors to take you out for fishing, snorkeling, and dive excursions. Click here for details on each option.


Cruising is big industry in the Dominican Republic, a fact that is made obvious by the more than a handful of different cruise ports that surround the island. They are located in Barahona, La Romana, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, Manzanillo, and San Pedro de Macoris. Finally, there is even one in Samana.  This means you can sail directy to Samana and spend a full day exploring the town.  While large liners stop here on occassion, it is more common for the small to mid-sized ships to dock here, so be on the lookout for trips with companies like Silverseas and Holland America. 

Rental Cars

...choose a sport utility vehicle...


Because Samana is such a nature-lovers paradise, it is recommended that tourists rent a car for their local explorations. Make sure to choose a sport utility vehicle like a jeep with four-wheel drive and good suspension because the road conditions – especially in those off-the-beaten-path areas – can be rugged and hard to manage in your typical four door sedan. A rental around here will cost on average $55(USD) per day, including insurance, but prices do vary. Learn more when you read about renting a car in Samana here.


Taxis are a great alternative to renting a car in Samana. You get the benefit of direct transportation without multiple stops to pick up other passengers, privacy, and a driver who knows his or her way around. The cost of a taxi varies depending on who you ride with. There are no meters, and rates are not set in advance by the government, so you may have to do a bit of negotiating before you drive off. Our guide to Taxis in Samana will break down the whole process for you.


Motoconchos, or motorcycle taxis, are the cheapest and fastest way to travel short distances in Samana. These bikes can take one to two passengers on a quick ride, sans helmet, anywhere in town for about $.50(USD) per person. Although this may seem like a risky way to travel, the young men who offer rides are safe drivers and know all the best short cuts.


Intercity buses are available between many of the Dominican Republic's largest cities, including a route that travels between Santo Domingo and Samana. It takes four hours with stops along the way in Sanchez, Las Terrenas, and Santa Barbara de Samana, but if you're looking to save some money, this is the way to go. It only costs around $7.50(USD) for the ride. There are four different buses that make the journey each day leaving from 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Caribe Tours offers this service, and they can be reached at 809-221-4422.

There are also buses that operate in Samana alone. They are called guaguas and are typically vans that operate just as a typical city bus would on a smaller scale. Prices are under $1(USD) per person.

Carro Publico

Carro Publicos are another form of ground transportation that locals are a fan of. The cost to ride is somewhere between a taxi and a bus at around $1(USD) per person, making for a great deal, but the caveat is you're traveling packed into a five-seat minivan with a group of strangers. Publicos have predetermined routes just like a bus, but they will stop wherever you need to get on and off, rather than having set stops.


If you have business on either side of Samana Bay, you can save 10 hours of driving by making use of "El Bote." The ferry travels between Samana and Muelle Sabana De La Mar several times a day and takes only one hour of travel time. You can read more about the service, including regular departure times and fares by clicking here.

It really is remarkable the amount of transportation options that are available to tourists staying in the Samana Peninsula, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which is going to be the best for you. You've already done the initial work by taking the time to learn a bit about each. Now consider how each will work in conjunction with your day-to-day plans and fit into your budget. This will further narrow down your choices and make it easier for you to come to a final decision.


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